Stuff that matters – part deux

Welcome to the second instalment of stuff that matters – aka stuff other people do that contributes to bettering the world. Since my first article, I have successfully continued to do nothing, in particular this week because I am spending it in bed with a flu-like virus that has totally kicked me in the ass.

I dedicate part-deux to Gina.

Gina left the mall

I discovered her blog not long after I started my own and loved it right away. She has a huge heart and a wonderful spirit and she spends a lot of her time supporting the troops at home and abroad. She brightens their days and reminds them that someone cares about what they are doing. I don’t know enough about the politics behind all these wars to cast an opinion on them, but I do know there are men and women sacrificing their time and there lives doing something because they trust and believe in the politicians that sent them away.

There are a ton of ways she helps out and you can help her or help out those that are deployed and far from their families: How you can make a difference!

Her ways have been talked about in print, in film and on the radio because she is doing such a great job at making a difference. I applaud her for doing so much that matters to so many. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.


What a four year old takes away from a movie

My kids don’t watch a lot of television, hold on, let me finish, what I mean is, they don’t watch a lot of actual broadcast television. We have however trained them to sit quietly during an 8 hour transatlantic flight by helping them develop a healthy appetite for all things cinema.

In the beginning, my son had two movies, well two sets of movies, Cars and Toy Story, and that was all we watched for months. After nearly losing our minds, we tried to find ways to extend his interest level. It was coincidentally around this time that we discovered what I call French Netflix. Naturally, the actually French offering is multiple words long with about 2 dozen syllables -so French Netflix it will remain, at least in this verbally economic household.

Since having French Netflix (which we tried to reduce further to Fretflix, but abandoned shortly thereafter), we have managed to get Crazy to start watching a much larger variety of films. But, they were all animated. I am not opposed to cartoons, but in 60 m2, when the television is on, no matter where you are, you hear it, and in more than half our little home, you see it, so eventually, it would be nice to see actual human beings on the tv.

We tried a few actual people movies at Christmas, Home Alone was a colossal fail, as it was far too terrifying for our four year old. The two year old however was killing herself laughing as the bad guys were getting hurt left, right,and centre – I am still not too sure if I should be worried. We tried the Santa Clause trio, which went over okay, but were never requested.

But now we have found an actual human movie that Crazy likes, a trilogy in fact, and as of this morning, he has asked for it. The only reason we are not ecstatic is because when he asked for it, he said, and I quote (well sort of, half the sentence came out in French) “can we watch I want to flush your poop 1?”

During a two hour long movie (so roughly the time it took Squishy to peel the orange she is now eating), he retained the only bathroom joke in the whole thing, and has decided to make it the title. He also let us know the sequel is called “Now picking your nose 2”.

A virtual high five to anyone who can find the actual movie title.

I’m a princess

My baby girl turned two today, which pretty much blows my mind. She and I are, in a healthy way, joined at the hip. I have trouble remembering a time when I didn’t have my little Mini-Me following me about.  Seriously, she is a little version of me, especially since I “accidentally” got my hair cut exactly like hers. This morning, for her birthday, I got out my best barbie playing skills and dressed her up as cute I could. She was thrilled and responded, repetitively, “I’m a princess” while showing off her outfit to everyone in the house, including herself multiple times in the mirror.

2 year old

The 2 year old princess

While I would love to write an elaborate post about our relationship based on mutual dependence that I hope will survive her teenage years, I have decided not to do that. While this is a great day, she is two and all, it is also the anniversary of the absolutely most horrific experience I have ever had in my entire life. It was more pain and suffering than I have ever know, it was child birth…without drugs.

Now, I hope I am not going to upset anyone, as I know this is a touchy subject for many women (and certain men who oddly think they get the right to say anything whatsoever on the subject), but I fail to understand, in the 10,000 years (?) of human existence and the medical advances we have made, why childbirth still needs to be such an insanely traumatic experience. I’m by no means advocating having children grow outside the womb, or in labs or anything of the sort, but can we not collectively come up with a way to ease the pain beyond the option of the gigantic needle in our backs?

Why is it that we live in a time when we are extending our life expectancy, we are curing centuries old diseases, we are curing erectile dysfunction allowing men to feel like men – all of this done with chemicals – but for childbirth, we must remain “au naturale“. Why is there no research – at least no research big enough to make it into mainstream media – going on to find alternatives to the spine needle while still making the experience a little less soul crushing.

I declared quite early in both my pregnancies that I wanted an epidural; I did my research and decided the benefits out-weighed the risks. I felt no need to suffer unnecessarily, especially when I knew I was delivering my own DNA packed kids who would then make me suffer for years afterwards. I was quite surprised by the reaction of some to this statement, partly because it was a personal decision that didn’t affect their lives in the least, but also because so many people (both genders…men please refer to first parentheses above) were staunchly against the epidural. They  treated me like I was a lesser woman because I know my own limits, they essentially tried to make me feel like I was failing as a mother before my child was brought into this world.

This baffled me, and still baffles me, that we women have grown in a culture where we are expected to suffer to become parents.  I don’t see why the pain should be necessary, or why I’m less of a woman or a mother because I didn’t want to feel the pain of having a little alien destroy my body from the inside out.  And let’s not mince words, that is essentially what happened. The only reason I felt the pain with Squishy is because she is an overachiever, and decided to run out of the womb.

I fully acknowledge that I only know my two situations, and I wouldn’t dare generalize anything, but I would like to request that a few of the millions of dollars of research money out there be dedicated to allowing women to enjoy the day their children are born, without the inherent risks that come with inserting sharp objects in your vertebrae. I mean really enjoy, not just the joy you feel when you hold your newborn for the first time while still feeling totally broken; I would have loved to take pleasure in the experience instead of having recurring nightmares for the two years that followed. What can I say, I guess I’m a princess too.

Added Bonus: Can you find the two year old?

Bonus Level: Can you find the two year old?